Ben Randle

THEATRE DIRECTOR

Ray of Light's 'Sweeney Todd' Nabs 6 BATCC Nods

UPDATE: Michelle Jasso won the Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (100-300 seats) for her portrayal of Beggar Woman/Lucy in Ray of Light's production of Sweeney Todd

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The Bay Area Critics Circle released their nominations for "Outstanding Achievement in Bay Area Theatre during 2012" and Ray of Light Theatre's production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd, directed by Ben Randle, received 6 nominations.

In the Musical Category for theaters with 100-300 seats, Sweeney Todd received nods for Best Ensemble; Adam Campbell for Best Principal Actor in a Musical; Shelley Crowley for Best Principal Actress in a Musical; Michelle Jasso for Best Featured Actress in a Musical; Maya Linke for Best Set Design; Robbie Cowan for Best Musical Direction.

The awards will be given out at a reception Monday, May 6, 2012 at The California Ballroom, 1736 Franklin St., Oakland CA.

SFBATCC is a private non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and serving theatres of all types and sizes in the greater region by recognizing excellence and outstanding achievement in the field.

For more information, visit sfbatcc.org

'Show Me Yours', New Musical Revue, Debuts at Alcove Theater

Show Me Yours - Songs of Innocence and Experience, an original music revue directed and choreographed by Ben Randle, with musical direction by Ben Prince, opens April 5th, at the Alcove Theater.

According to press materials, Show Me Yours is "a funny, poignant musical cabaret about sex and all that comes with it", and is written by Pen and Piano, the resident company of writers and composers of New Musical Theater of San Francisco.

The cast features Chloe Condon, Tim Homsley, Jacqueline DeMuro, Sheelagh Murphy, and Tom Reardon. 

The new Alcove Theater is located at 414 Mason Street, one block from Union Square, in San Francisco. Performances are April 5th through 27th, 2013.

The stated mission of NMTSF is to develop musical theater, using Bay Area talent.  The writers and composers of Show Me Yours - Songs of Innocence and Experience are members of Pen and Piano, the thirteen member resident company of writers and composers handpicked by NMTSF’s artistic director Anne Nygren Doherty to create shows specifically for its venue, The Alcove Theater.

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The group includes Peter Alexander, Anne Nygren Doherty, Paul Frantz, Jerome Gentes, Richard Hefner, Richard Isen, Richard Jennings, Sandy Kasten, Andrew Klein, Ben Prince, Denise Wharmby and Pam Winfrey.

Randle joins creative team of West Edge Opera 'Poppea'

Ben Randle has joined the creative team as Assistant Director of West Edge Opera's new production of Claudio Monteverdi's L'incoronazi di Poppea directed by West Edge Opera Artistic Director Mark Streshinsky with Musical Direction by Gilbert Martinez.

The 2013 season opener will play February 1-3, at the new state-of-the-art Performaing Arts Center at El Cerrito High School located at 540 Ashbury Avenue in El Cerrito, CA.

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Press Notes cite Poppea as "one of the earliest operas", as it was writeen in 1642. "But even in 1642," it notes, "sensuality ruled the day. Emperor Nero can’t get his mind off the beautiful and sensual Poppea. He thinks about Poppea more than he thinks about his country and especially his empress Ottavia."

Nero is Christine Brandes, international recording artist famed for her baroque portrayals. Poppea is Emma McNairy, last seen on the WEO stage as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. Otone, Poppea’s spurned lover, is played by Ryan Belongie, our countertenor from Xerxes. Drusilla is noted baroque singer Tonia D’Amelio. Ottavia is played by Erin Neff, who was a passionate Myrtle in Ensemble Paralléle's recent production of The Great Gatsby

The design team includes Production Design by Lucas Krech, Costume Design by Shannon Maxham, Hair and Make-up Design by Jason Henricks. Others on the artistic team include Elena Servi Burgess (Diction Coach), Margo Leslie (Titles), Julie Chin (Stage Manager).

West Edge's production is a reduced and revised edition created by Streshinsky and Martinez from the 4-hour original version. The production will be sung in Italian with Engllish supertitles.

Pre-performance lecture in the library beginning 45 mins prior to curtain.

West Edge Opera artistic staff includes Artistic Director Mark Streshinky and Company Music Director Jonathan Khuner. Presented in collaboration with MusicSources.

Buy tickets here.

For more information, visit westesdgeopera.org

'Show Me Yours', New Music Revue, to Debut at Alcove

New Musical Theater of San Francisco will present Show Me Yours - Songs of Innocence and Experience, an original music revue by Pen and Piano, the company’s resident company of writers and composers, directed by Ben Randle, with musical direction by Ben Prince.

According to press materials, Show Me Yours is "a funny, poignant musical cabaret about sex and all that comes with it", and will play the new Alcove Theater located at 414 Mason Street, one block from Union Square, in San Francisco. Performances are April 4 through 27, 2013.

The stated mission of NMTSF is to develop musical theater, using Bay Area talent.  The writers and composers of Show Me Yours - Songs of Innocence and Experience are members of Pen and Piano, the thirteen member resident company of writers and composers handpicked by NMTSF’s artistic director Anne Nygren Doherty to create shows specifically for its venue, The Alcove Theater. The group includes Peter Alexander, Anne Nygren Doherty, Paul Frantz, Jerome Gentes, Richard Hefner, Richard Isen, Richard Jennings, Sandy Kasten, Andrew Klein, Ben Prince, Denise Wharmby and Pam Winfrey. 

Cast and design team yet to be announced.

 

One-Minute Play Festival Returns

Playwrights Foundation and The New York One-Minute Play Festival present the Third-Annual San Francisco One-Minute Play Festival December 15th and 16th at The Thick House Theater, in San Francisco.

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Press notes describe the festival as "70 plays, 70 minutes".

Directors for this year's festival are Ben Randle, Paul Cello, Desdemona Chiang, Jill MacLean, Susannah Martin, Amy Clare Tasker, and Dawn Monique Williams.

The full 2012 roster of Playwrights whose work will be featured in the festival are Joan Holden, Chris Chen, Anthony Clarvoe, Lauren Gunderson, Aaron Loeb, Chinaka Hodge, J.C. Lee, Eugenie Chan, Trevor Allen, Tim Bauer, William Bivins, Erin M. Bregman, Victoria Chong Der, Megan Cohen, Bennett Fisher, Elizabeth Gjelten, Garret Jon Groenveld, Daniel Heath, Robert Henry Johnson, Lynne Kaufman, Jeffrey Lo, Jonathan Luskin, Katie May, Patricia Milton, Marisela Treviño Orta, David Perez, Evelyn Jean Pine, Kenn Rabin, Geetha Reddy, Kate E. Ryan, Steven M. Salzman, Marissa Skudlarek, Jonathan Spector, Aimee Suzara, Brian Thorstenson, Arisa White, Kim Yaged, & Ignacio Zulueta.

Press Notes about this year's festival note, "following sold-out performances in the past two seasons, this year’s festival will be the largest, most inclusive, and most ambitious collaboration between PF and OMPF to date." The Festival also serves as a benefit for both organizations.

The One-Minute Play Festival (OMPF) is an NYC-based theatre company, founded by director/dramaturg Dominic D’Andrea, working in partnership with institutional theatres and collectives across the country who share playwright or community-specific missions. OMPF creates local playwright-focused community events, using a specific playmaking process, with the goal of promoting the spirit of radical inclusion by representing the culture of playwrights of different age, gender, race culture, and points of career. OMPF attempts to reflect the theatrical landscape of local artistic communities by creating a dialogue between the collective conscious and the individual voice.

OMPF has partnered with theaters in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New Brunswick, Atlanta, South Florida, Boston, and New York, where it is now an annual tradition.

Since 2007, OMPF has commissioned and produced close to 1,000 new one-minute plays by close to 300 playwrights using a specific playmaking methodology and process developed for this work.*

Notable OMPF Alumni include: David Henry Hwang, Neil LaBute, Tina Howe, Rajiv Joseph, Kristoffer Diaz, Lisa Loomer, Donald Margulies, Jason Grote, Mike Daisey, Erik Ehn, Michael John Garces, Rachel Axler, Elizabeth Meriwether, Migdalia Cruz, Philip Kan Gotanda,Qui Nguyen, Craig Lucas, Michael Hollinger, and others.

Performances are Saturday, December 15 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 16th at 3pm and 8pm. The Thick House Theater is located at 1695 18th Street, SF on Potrero Hill.

For more information, visit playwrightsfoundation.org

'The Submission' begins at NCTC

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Performances begin November 2nd for the West Coast premiere of Jeff Talbott's award-winning Off-Broadway play The Submission, in a production directed by Ben Randle and presented by New Conservatory Theatre Center.

BUY TICKETS HERE.

NCTC bills the play, to run through December 16, this way: "Shaleeha G'ntamobi's stirring new play about an alcoholic black mother and her card sharp son trying to get out of the projects has just been accepted into the nation's preeminent theater festival. Trouble is, Shaleeha G'ntamobi doesn't exist, except in the imagination of gay playwright Danny Larsen, who created her as a kind of affirmative-action nom-de-plume. Danny Larsen has entered his play into the festival as Shaleeha, and must now keep the ruse going in order for the play to be produced. When Danny hires local actress Emilie to stand-in as the writer of the play, he quickly realizes that she is not looking for a casual role. Danny soon fears that he's lost control not only of the play, but of his actress and the lies he's spun around his partner and friends."

The cast features Eric Kerr, Sam Jackson, Chris Morrell, and Alex Kirchner.

The design team includes Scenic Design by Kuo-Hao Lo, Lighting and Projection Design by Christian Mejia, Costume Design by Liz Weston, Prop Design by Jamie Thomas, and Stage Management by Lizabeth Stanley.

For The Submission, Talbott won the 2012 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, for a new American play by an emerging writer, and was the first winner of the Laurents/Hatcher Award — created by playwright-librettist Arthur Laurents and named for him and his late partner, Tom Hatcher — for an emerging American playwright addressing social issues.

The Submission premiered in fall 2011 by Off-Broadway's MCC Theater, in a production directed by Walter Bobbie and starring Jonathan Groff ("Glee").

An alumnus of the Yale School of Drama, Talbott is an actor and playwright. He penned For Nate and Molly and Tender, plays seen in the student Yale Cabaret. He also co-wrote Critical Moment, a two-hander, with 2010 Tony nominee Stephen Kunken. Under the title Festival Play,The Submission was a semi-finalist for the 2010 O'Neill Playwrights Conference.

New Conservatory Theatre Center is located at 25 Van Ness Ave, Lower Lobby, San Francisco.

Performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm. For more information, visit nctcsf.org

'Fisherman's Wife', New Yockey Play, To Open Impact Season

Impact Theater opens it's 2012-2012 Season August 25th with the World Premiere or Steve Yockey's The Fisherman's Wife, directed by Ben Randle.

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Performances run through September 29, 2012, Thursday through Saturday at 8pm.

The story begin as, "Vanessa’s marriage to Cooper has grown stale. She wants excitement, passion. He merely wants to provide for her the best way he knows how: fishing. While Cooper is out at sea, Vanessa receives a visit from a mysterious traveling salesman with a bag full of danger. And he’s not the only one new in town: a ravenously horny giant squid and octopus have settled in under the dock, ready for whomever comes their way."

Press notes describe Fisherman's Wife as another "brutally hilarious fantasia" from Yockey (Disassembly, Cartoon), "drawing inspiration from the foremost example of tentacle porn, Hokusai’s famous 200-year-old Japanese erotic woodcut The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife.

The cast includes Adrian Anchondo, Sarah Cokendall, Maro Guevara, Roy Landaverde, and Eliza Leoni.

Scenic Design by Anne Kendall, Lighting Design by Read Tuddenham, Costume Design by Liz Weston, Prop Design by Tunuviel Luv-Gulamani.

Impact Season will also include the World Premiere of Toil and Trouble by Lauren Gunderson, directed by Josh Costello; As You Like It directed by Artistic Director Melissa Hillman; and the World Premiere of Vs. written and directed by Jon Tracy.

Impact Theatre is located at La Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berkeley.

For more information, visit Impacttheatre.com

Ray of Light's 'Sweeney Todd' Begins at Eureka Theatre in SF

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Peformances have begun for the Ray of Light Theatre's new production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's masterpiece, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, directed by Ben Randle and musical directed by Robbie Cowan. 

Performances run through August 11, 2012, at The Eureka Theatre. Shows are Thursday through Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.

The cast includes Adam Campbell, Shelley Crowley, J. Conrad Frank, Kevin Singer, Matt Provencal, Jessica Smith, Terrence McLaughlin, Michelle Jasso, Ken Brill, Mia Fryvecind, Ron Dritz, Gina DiRado, Charles Parker, and Velvet Pini.

Musical Direction by Robbie Cowan, Scenic Design by Maya Linke, Costume Design by Miriam Lewis, Lighting Design by Cathie Anderson, Prop Design by Kevin Pong.

As press notes describe the show, "With murder, mayhem and meat pies this musical tells the twisted tale of Benjamin Barker, alias Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after 15 years’ banishment on false charges. Watch as his sanity crumbles and he begins a closely-shaved killing spree that leaves the residents of Fleet Street both terrified and well-fed. A demon barber, to say the least!"

The Eureka Theatre is located at 215 Jackson Street at Battery St, in San Francisco.

For more information, visit rayoflighttheatre.com

Randle to direct Talbot's Award-Winning 'Submission' for NCTC

New Conservatory Theatre Center will present the West Coast premiere this fall of Jeff Talbott's award-winning Off-Broadway comedy The Submission, in a production directed by Ben Randle.

For The Submission, Talbott won the 2012 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, for a new American play by an emerging writer, and was the first winner of the Laurents/Hatcher Award — created by playwright-librettist Arthur Laurents and named for him and his late partner, Tom Hatcher — for an emerging American playwright addressing social issues.

New Conservatory bills the play, to run Nov. 2-Dec. 16, this way: "Shaleeha G'ntamobi's stirring new play about an alcoholic black mother and her card sharp son trying to get out of the projects has just been accepted into the nation's preeminent theater festival. Trouble is, Shaleeha G'ntamobi doesn't exist, except in the imagination of gay playwright Danny Larsen, who created her as a kind of affirmative-action nom-de-plume."

The Submission premiered in fall 2011 by Off-Broadway's MCC Theater, in a production directed by Walter Bobbie and starring Jonathan Groff ("Glee").

An alumnus of the Yale School of Drama, Talbott is an actor and playwright. He penned For Nate and Molly and Tender, plays seen in the student Yale Cabaret. He also co-wrote Critical Moment, a two-hander, with 2010 Tony nominee Stephen Kunken. Under the title Festival Play, The Submission was a semi-finalist for the 2010 O'Neill Playwrights Conference. Talbott is repped by WME.

For more information, visit nctcsf.org

Randle joins Creative Team of CalShakes' new 'Tempest'

Ben Randle has joined the creative team as Assistant Director of California Shakespeare Theater's upcoming production of Shakespeare's The Tempest directed by Cal Shakes Artistic Director Jonathan Msocone.

The production will open the company's 39th seaon and plays May 30-June 24, at CalShakes' Ampitheatre in Orinda, California.

As described in press materials, Tempest features "a story-telling ensemble of six actors and three dancers conjure a highly-theatricalized, dance-filled world of romance, treachery, revenge and redemption. Actors switch characters in front of your eyes as both a celebration of theater and a revelation of the mutability of character in a world where identity is defined by relative positions of power".

The production features the return to the Bay Area stage of Oregon Shakespeare Festival company member and Broadway and TV veteran (from “The Gilmore Girls”) Michael Winters as the wizard Prospero and the drunken butler Stephano, and celebrated choreographer Erika Chong Shuch as the spirit Ariel. The company of The Tempest also includes: James Carpenter (last seen at Cal Shakes in the title role of Titus Andronicus) as King Alonso; Catherine Castellanos (Pastures of Heaven, Romeo and Juliet; Phedre at Shotgun Players) as Caliban and Antonio; Emily Kitchens (Clybourne Park at A.C.T.) as Miranda and Sebastian; and Nicholas Pelczar (Titus Andronicus, Taming of the Shrew) as Ferdinand and Trinculo. The island sprites will be played by professional dancers Melanie Elms (Margaret Jenkins Dance Company) and Travis Santell Rowland (Deborah Slater Dance Company), and by first-year ACT MFA student Aaron Moreland.

The design team includes scenic design by Emily Greene, costume design by Anna Oliver, lighting design by Gabe Maxson, and sound design/music by Cliff Caruthers. Others on the artistic team include Associate Artist Domenique Lozano (vocal/text coach); Philippa Kelly (dramaturg), Corrie Bennett (stage manager), and Jannette Coté (assistant stage manager).

For more information and tickets, visit calshakes.org

 

 

BATCC Awards: 'Clear Blue Sky', Ray of Light among winners

Sleepwalker Theatre's production Into the Clear Blue Sky, by JC Lee and directed by Ben Randle, won an award for Best Lighting Design (for a Play, 99 seats and under) for Alex Senchak and Christian Mejia, at the The Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, handed out April 2, in a ceremony at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

Also, big winners that night were Ray of Light Theatre, who won 8 awards (Musical, 300 seats and under) for their 2011 production of Assassins by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Among the winners were Maya Linke and Cathie Anderson, for Best Scenic Design and Best Lighting Design, respectively. Both designers will repeat their duties for Ray of Light Theatre's upcoming productions of The Fully Monty, to be directed by Artistic Director Jason Hoover, and Sweeney Todd, directed by Ben Randle.

See the complete list of winners, here.

For more information on the upcoming Ray of Light season, visit their website.

'Into the Clear Blue Sky', 'Treefall', 'Chalk Boy' score 11 BATCC nods

The Bay Area Critics Circle released their nominations for "Outstanding Achievement in Bay Area Theatre during 2011" and Into the Clear Blue Sky received 7 nominations, including Best Director and Best Scenic Design for Ben Randle.

  
 
 
 
 Scenic Design by Ben Randle, Costume     Design by Wes Crain,   Lighting Design by Christian   Mejia and Alex Senchak, Sound Design by   Colin Trevor,   Photography by Claire Rice. 
  Adrian Anchondo, Eric Kerr.

In the Drama Category for theatres with 99 seats and under, Into the Clear Blue Sky by JC Lee and produced by Sleepwalkers Theatre received nominations for Best Original Script and Best Production for Lee and Sleepwalkers, respectively. Blue Sky also received nominations for Dina Percia as Best Principle Actress; Christian Mejia and Alex Senchak for Best Lighting Design; Colin Trevor for Best Sound Design; and the 2 nominations for Ben Randle.

Two other productions directed by Ben Randle in 2011 also received nominations. Treefall by Henry Murray and produced by New Conservatory Theatre Center received nominations for Evan Johnson as Best Actor; Christian Mejia for Best Lighting Design; and Josh Senick for Best Sound Design. The Chalk Boy by Joshua Conkel and produced by Impact Theatre received a nomination for Maria Giere for Best Featured Actress.

The awards will be given out at a reception April 2, 2012.

SFBATCC is a private non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and serving theatres of all types and sizes in the greater region by recognizing excellence and outstanding achievement in the field.

For more information, visit sfbatcc.org

'Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus' at CounterPULSE now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the CounterPULSE production of Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus by trixxie carr and directed by Ben Randle, playing February 17-19, 2012.

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The production is part of CounterPULSE Winter Special and will feature trixxie carr, Talia Lipskind, Norm Munoz, Angelica Roque, Travis Santell Rowland, and Jarrad Webster.

Set in contemporary San Francisco, Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus is the story of "Tiny Dionysus, a god banished from Mount Olympus, who is called a upon by a group of unemployed San Francisco artists to teach them how to survive The Great Recession. Exploding from their adventures are lavish production numbers, eruptions of classic rock and pop songs, drag, puppetry, and original music by trixxie carr."

According to press notes, "Dionysus (dy-uh-NY-suhs) was the Greek God of wine, and ancient festivals in his honor were the driving force behind the development of Greek Theater. He was also a liberator, whose wine, music and ecstatic dance freed his followers from fear and care, and subverted the oppressive restraints of the powerful."

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus is a response to the economic and political turmoil today and unrest that ripples from the headlines. “It is about our society, right now, this city, this country,” says director Ben Randle. “In the times we’re living in, and the anxiety and fear that surrounds everything we do, we need art that not only takes us away from reality, but springs from it and acknowledges it. Only then, can it heal us.” The success of a workshop production in 2009 at Mama Calizo Voice Factory as part of Randle’s DIY Residency encouraged him to further develop the political heart of the piece. “When we did it a couple of years ago, the response was beyond anything we could have imagined. People were hungry for this material. People would say to us, ‘You’re telling my life onstage’! And so, we made revisions to hopefully deepen that connection. Now, with the Occupy movements around the world and a society losing faith in its leaders, I think we need Tiny Dionysus more than ever.”

The production will features performers and design artists from a variety of performance backgrounds, such as dance, theatre, drag, and clowning. “And because the pains of this Recession affect all of us, it was important to bring many communities together to work on this show,” Randle explains. In each performance, there will be a cameo made by a different celebrated local legend, drag queen or performer. Puppets featured in the production, including a 7-foot, festival-style Minotaur puppet - were made by visual artists experienced in making large-scale festival puppets, but never for a theatrical production. “Tiny Dionysus is starting that conversation”, says playwright trixxie carr, “of who you want to be regardless of your gender, regardless of your class status, regardless of where you came from, or your race, or your religion. ”

CounterPULSE calls Winter Special "an experiment in offering radically affordable and accessible performance opportunities to a diverse array of emerging performance-makers.  Ten lead artists present eight weeks of contemporary dance, experimental theater, multimedia performance, provocative drag and more."  Ranging from raw experiments to polished premieres, Winter Special features productions by Miriam Wolodarski and Rosemary Hannon, CatherineMarie Davalos, Kitka, Mohamed Lamine Bangoura, Erin Malley, Ben Randle with trixxie carr, and Katsura Kan and Shoshana Green.

Tickets are available here. More information at counterpulse.org

Randle to direct in 2nd annual SF One-Minute Play Festival

The Second-Annual San Francisco One-Minute Play Festival directed by Jessica Heidt, Jon Lowe, Jill MacLean, Evren Odcikin, Christine Young, and Ben Randle will be held December 17th and 18th at Thick House, as a presentation of Playwrights Foundation and The New York One-Minute Play Festival.

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Press notes describe the festival as "80 plays, 30 actors, 5 directors, 1 minute".

Randle will direct a series that includes work by Steve Yockey, Lauren Gunderson, Eugenie Chan, Tim Bauer, Christopher Chen, Kate E. Ryan, Ignacio Zulueta, Joan Holden, Aaron Loeb, and Geetha Reddy.

The full 2011 roster of Playwrights whose work will be featured in the festival are Trevor Allen, Crish Barth, Tim Bauer, Erin M. Bregman, Eugenie Chan, Christopher Chen, Anthony Clarvoe, Megan Cohen, Bennett Fisher, Elizabeth Gjelten, Philip Kan Gotanda, Garret Jon Groenveld, Lauren Gunderson, Daniel Heath, Joan Holden, Robert Henry Johnson, Aaron Loeb, Jonathan Luskin, Patricia Milton, Cherrie Moraga, Marisela Treviño Orta, Evelyn Jean Pine, Kenn Rabin, Geetha Reddy, Kate E. Ryan, Andrew Saito, Steven M. Salzman, Marissa Skudlarek, Michael Gene Sullivan, Tom Swift, Brian Thorstenson, Steve Yockey & Ignacio Zulueta.

The One-Minute Play Festival (OMPF) is an NYC-based theatre company, founded by director/dramaturg Dominic D’Andrea, working in partnership with institutional theatres and collectives across the country who share playwright or community-specific missions. OMPF creates local playwright-focused community events, using a specific playmaking process, with the goal of promoting the spirit of radical inclusion by representing the culture of playwrights of different age, gender, race culture, and points of career. OMPF attempts to reflect the theatrical landscape of local artistic communities by creating a dialogue between the collective conscious and the individual voice.

OMPF has partnered with theaters in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New Brunswick, Atlanta, South Florida, Boston, and New York, where it is now an annual tradition.

Since 2007, OMPF has commissioned and produced close to 1,000 new one-minute plays by close to 300 playwrights using a specific playmaking methodology and process developed for this work.*

Notable OMPF Alumni include: David Henry Hwang, Neil LaBute, Tina Howe, Rajiv Joseph, Kristoffer Diaz, Lisa Loomer, Donald Margulies, Jason Grote, Mike Daisey, Erik Ehn, Michael John Garces, Rachel Axler, Elizabeth Meriwether, Migdalia Cruz, Philip Kan Gotanda,Qui Nguyen, Craig Lucas, Michael Hollinger, and others.

For more information, visit oneminuteplays.wordpress.com

Jason Robert Brown's 'Last Five Years' opens December 2nd

Poor Man's Player's production of The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown and directed by Ben Randle, with musical direction by Dave Moschler, begins performances December 2, 2011 at Boxcar Playhouse.

It plays through December 18th, 2011. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm.

The production stars Aleph Ayin and Lauren Spencer. 

The Last Five Years is a two-character musical about a marriage between two New York artists, one a novelist and the other an actress, as they come together and fall apart.

Scenic Design by Ben Randle, Scenic Painting by Maya Linke, Lighting Design by Cameron Growden, and Stage Managment by Wes Newfarmer. 

Tickets are sliding scale $20-$30. Pay-What-You-Can Preview (only at the door) Friday, December 2. T

To Buy Tickets, please visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/210231

Boxcar Playhouse is located at 505 Natoma St, San Francisco, CA.

'Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus' to CounterPULSE in Feb 2012

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionyus, the collaboration between Ben Randle and Trixxie Carr will be presented February 17-19 at CounterPULSE, as part of Winter Special, their bi-annual co-production series.

According to press notes, Tiny Dionysus is inspired by Euripedes' The Bacchae and is about "Tiny Dionysus, a god banished from Mount Olympus and called a upon by a group of unemployed San Francisco artists to teach them how to survive The Great Recession. Exploding from their adventures are lavish production numbers, eruptions of classic rock and pop songs, drag, puppetry, and original material by Trixxie Carr."

  [Screen Capture]   Trixxie Carr (Tiny Dionysus), Stanley Frank (Chorus), Steve Fishell (Chorus), Joshua Thake (Chorus), Audra Wolfmann (Chorus).  
 Scenic Design by Maya Linke and Ben Randle, Lighting Design by Anthony Powers. 

Tiny Dionysus premiered at Mama Calizo Voice Factory in 2009, as part of Ben Randle DIY Residency at the former performance for queer performance artists.

Trixxie Carr is a musician, faux queen, actress, chanteuse, playwright, and San Francisco native, who performs her original music as theatrical pieces at such venues as Supperclub, Folsom Street Fair, and Café Du Nord. From 2006-2010, she was a lead singer for cover band Smash-Up Derby. As a faux queen at Trannyshack and Some Thing, she performed her mix of comedy-burlesque-performance art. Recent credits include Peaches Christ’s touring 'All About Evil'; Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge at Magic Theatre; and Work More, Unbearable Lightness of Raya Light, and Halloween at CounterPULSE.

Design team and ticketing information to be announced soon.

For more information, visit http://counterpulse.org/

Randle and solo-artist Johnson to complete "Pansy" workshop at NCTC

Ben Randle and Evan Johnson will enter the studio Decmeber 2011 through January 2012 for the third and final workshop of an original solo work by Johnson, with a working title Pansy.

The workshop will culminate in an invite-only presentation January 21st, 2012, at NCTC. The workshop and eventual solo work is part of Johnson's residency in the New Conservatory Theatre Center's Emerging Artist Program and is being produced by NCTC.

The first workshop of Pansy took place in Fall 2010 with a invite-only showing in November, and the second workhop was during Summer 2011.

Evan Johnson is a queer theatre and performance maker working in devised/ensemble strategies, playwriting and physical theatre forms. His work includes text, character and story explorations, movement, improvisation and masks. Evan co-founded IT Speaks along with Jamie Van Camp in 2006 as well as 11.11 Art Group with Ernesto Sopprani in 2010. He teaches performance classes to young people at several local sites through SF Rec and Parks. A graduate of The Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, CA, Evan presented his original play for one actor, DON'T FEEL: The Death of Dahmer (with 11.11 Art Group) at Mama Calizo's Factory (RIP) as a 2010 DIY Resident Artist. Also at MCVF he co-created SHAME! with Naked Empire Bouffon (2009). IT Speaks has presented it's interactive comedic showcase The Hello Show! in 2007 and 2008 and taught physical theatre workshops to High Schoolers. Since moving to San Francisco in 2009, Evan has begun performing an eccentric female character named Martha T. Lipton (the failed actress) at bars and parties. Johnson studied character-based comedy with Master Clowns, Giovanni Fusetti in Boulder, CO in 2007 and at Dell'Arte with Ronlin Foreman ('05 and '06).

Ben Randle recently directed Into the Clear Blue Sky by LC Lee for Sleepwalkers Theatre; Treefall, Don’t Ask, Doubt (BATCC Nomination, Best Director), Baptized to the Bone, and Friends are Forever at New Conservatory Theatre, and was an Artist in Residence in their Emerging Artists Program; Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus (DIY Residency, Mama Calizo Voice Factory), Come As You Are! (Brava! for Women in the Arts!); Thrillpeddlers’ Shocktoberfest 2010 (assoc. dir.); Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, A One Night Stand (Don’t Tell Mama in NYC, Eureka Theater, Rrazz Room); Katya, Back In The USSR (Rrazz Room); Joe Besecker’s  Loving Fathers (SF Fringe, Best of Fringe 2008); and Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus (Next Stage). Ben has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University and was a member of Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab 2010.  This fall, he will direct Chalk Boy by Josh Conkel at Impact Theater in Berkeley.



'Last Five Years' in December 2011

Ben Randle will direct "The Last Five Years", Jason Robert Brown's popular musical about a New York couple falling in and out of love, as the debut production of Poor Man's Players. The production is scheduled to run December 2nd - 18th at Boxcar Playhouse, San Francisco.

The cast includes Aleph Ayin as Jamie and Lauren Spencer as Cathie.

The Lighting Designer is Cameron Growden, and Scenic and Costume Designer is Ben Randle. Additional design team to be announced.

Poor Man's Players is the theatre company formed by Dave Moschler, Stephanie Wilcox, and Daniel Reano-Koven.

Ticketing information to be released soon.

'The Chalk Boy' Begins November 3 at Impact

'The Chalk Boy' Begins November 3 at Impact Theater

The Chalk Boy by Joshua Conkel and directed by Ben Randle begins performances November 3rd and opens November 5th at Impact Theater, in Berkley. Performances run Thursday through Saturday at 8pm, through December 10, 2011.

According to press notes, in The Chalk Boy "there's more going on in the tiny town of Clear Creek than the opening of the new Taco Bell. Four of the town's local girls take the audience on a tour of their funny yet brutal reality as they struggle with faith, friendship, sex, the occult, algebra, and the disappearance of Jeff Chalk, a boy in their class. The Chalk Boy is a deathly black comedy that punches as hard as your high school bully."

The Chalk Boy is directed by Ben Randle and stars Impact's newest resident actor, Luisa Frasconi, whom audiences loved as last season's Juliet, as well as Maria Giere, Chris Quintos, and Caitlyn Tella.

Set by Anne Kendall, Costumes by Ashley Rodgers, Lights by Jax Steager, Sound & Projections by Colin Trevor, Props by Tunuviel Luv, Fight Direction by Dave Maier, Stage Management by Solia Martinez-Jacobs.

Joshua Conkel is a playwright, culture vulture and Navy brat who hails from the pine forests of rural Washington State. He is the author of MilkMilkLemonade (Best Off Off Broadway Show of 2009—NY Press, published by Playscripts), Lonesome Winter (with Megan Hill), The Sluts of Sutton Drive, and I Wanna Destroy You, as well as countless short plays, of which he is a prolific and enthusiastic writer. Conkel’s work has been seen all over the country as well asinternationally and has been developed by The Management, Soho Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Old Vic, Dixon Place, The Flea and more. He is the Co-Artistic Director of The Management, and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Soho Rep Writers/Directors Lab, tosos and The Dramatists Guild. He is currently finishing a graphic novel adaptation of The Chalk Boy for First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan, and was recently named one of Next Magazine’s “Who’s Next 2011.” Conkel is an alumnist of Youngblood and the TS Eliot Old Vic US/UK Exchange and received his bfa in theatre from Cornish College of the Arts.

Impact Theatre is located at a Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berkeley. Tickets and information: http://impacttheatre.com/

'Chalk Boy' by Joshua Conkel at Impact Theatre in Fall 2011

Impact Theatre presents "Chalk Boy" by Joshua Conkel, directed Ben Randle, November 5th to December 10th, as part of its 2011-2012 season.

"'Chalk Boy' is a deathly black comedy that punches as hard as your high school bully," according to the publisher's description. "Beneath its boring facade there is more going on in the tiny town of Clear Creek than the opening of the new Taco Bell.  Four of the town's local girls are here to take you on a tour of their funny, yet brutal reality.  They struggle with faith, friendship, sex, the occult, algebra, and the disappearance of... The Chalk Boy".

The cast will feature Luisa Frasconi, Caitlyn Tella, Chris Quintos, and Maria Giere. 

Design team is  set to include Set Design by Anne Kendall, Costume Design by Ashley Rogers, Lighting Design by Jacqueline Steager, Prop Design by Tunuviel Luv, and Sound Design by Colin Trevor.

Joshua Conkel is the artistic director of The Management Company in New York. He has written during A Love Story for People Who Hate Everything, Pretty as a Picture or The Story of a Girl Who was Almost in a Warrant Video, Odd Days/Even Days, White Trash Waltzing, and his solo piece The Invisible Boy Says Goodbye. He assisted Craig Lucas on The Light in the Piazza at the Intiman Theater. Joshua most recently directed Self-Obsession in Blue for the first annual Capital Fringe Festival in Washington DC. and recently appeared as a performer in Target Margin's Aristophanic Laboratory at H.E.R.E. He is a graduate of Cornish College.

Ben Randle recently directed Into the Clear Blue Sky by LC Lee for Sleepwalkers Theatre; Treefall, Don’t Ask, Doubt (BATCC Nomination, Best Director), Baptized to the Bone, and Friends are Forever at New Conservatory Theatre, and was an Artist in Residence in their Emerging Artists Program; Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dionysus (DIY Residency, Mama Calizo Voice Factory), Come As You Are! (Brava! for Women in the Arts!); Thrillpeddlers’ Shocktoberfest 2010 (assoc. dir.); Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, A One Night Stand (Don’t Tell Mama in NYC, Eureka Theater, Rrazz Room); Katya, Back In The USSR (Rrazz Room); Joe Besecker’s  Loving Fathers (SF Fringe, Best of Fringe 2008); and Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus (Next Stage). Ben has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University and was a member of Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab 2010. 

"Chalk Boy" had simultaneous premieres by The Management in New York under the direction of Joshua Conkel, and Company of Angels under the direction of Courtney Sale.

Impact Theatre is located at a Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid, Berkeley. For more information, visit impacttheatre.com.